NDA set to regulate food supplement

  By Agencies

Ministry of Health has said it is planning to expand the National Drug Authority (NDA) mandate to include regulating food supplements in addition to drugs.

The revelation was made by the Commissioner of Planning in the Ministry of Health, Dr Sarah Byakika, while addressing the just-concluded continental gathering of patients taking place in Entebbe last week.

“Before we start harmonizing (drug regulations) at a national level, let’s talk about what’s taking place at the lower levels. We have the National Drug Authority (NDA) to ensure that the drugs are safe and utilized. NDA is to strengthen to look beyond drugs; we want to include food because we have realized that people are supplying unsafe food supplements,” Dr. Byakika revealed.

Dr. Byakika was addressing patients from across Africa under their umbrella body; “Uganda Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (UAPO)”, gathering in Imperial Beach Hotel- Entebbe, to discuss patient involvement in the upcoming plans for the African Medicines Agency (AMA).

Held under the theme: ‘Harmonization for Patient-Centred Universal Health Coverage in Africa’ the two-day meeting deliberated on ways of ensuring the patient voice is reflected in the Agency, which is due to be launched in 2018 as part of the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization Initiative (AMRH).

The global umbrella organization, the International Alliance for Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) based in London, United Kingdom and the Uganda Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (UAPO), based in Uganda have embarked on the process of fostering patient involvement in the creation of AMA.

According to the World Health Organization {WHO} and NEPAD, today there are more than 50 different Authorities in Africa working independently to assess and authorize medicines.

“These authorities rely on different procedures and have different standards in place, exhibiting a situation of structural fragmentation”, says the WHO source.

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